New deer velvetting requirements

As most deer farmers will know, the industry is now subject to new hygiene and food safety measures in respect to velvet harvesting and handling.

The National Velvetting Standards Body (NVSB) is implementing four new standards prescribing hygiene measures relating to velvetting which include hygiene, cold chain management, transport and traceability. These new standards are final.

Basically, velvet antler (that is to be sold) can only be removed, stored, handled, tagged, recorded, transported and frozen in clean zones. These zones are the velvet removal areas, velvet storage and transport receptacles, bins, racks, benches and freezers. Clean zones have to have washable and nonporous surfaces which don't harbour bacteria and have to be cleaned and disinfected with an approved maintenance compound before and after the velvetting process. At all times during the velvetting to freezing process the velvet needs to be protected from dust, dirt, bird droppings etc.

As veterinarians cutting the velvet, if the shed is not up to the new standards we can still cut velvet but we cannot tag it for sale. Supervisory veterinarians will also not be able to issue tags if the deer shed is not up to standard.

For more in depth information please refer to http://deernz.org. Click on the Deer Hub then Velvetting to find the new rules and regulations under the NVSB section. You will also find photos of sheds that have been changed to suit the new rules and a list of approved maintenance compounds.